New and stricter than state law: Broomfeild's ideas for oil & gas regulations

Posted at 9:55 PM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-21 00:44:50-04

BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- The City of Broomfield wants to adopt new rules and regulations for how they oversee the oil & gas industry, and unveiled their draft plan at an open house Thursday night. 

"The City Council of Broomfield charged us with finding a way of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of residents when oil and gas comes in to the communities," committee member Susan Speece said. 
The draft proposal included a variety of topics including: 
  • rules for drilling site applications
  • regulations for air, noise, & light pollution
  • inspection plans
  • policies to minimize loss of property value
One of the biggest issues that this draft proposal tried to tackle is setback requirements for any new wells in relation to homes.
Broomfield proposed a 1,320 foot (1/4 mile) setback. That's nearly three times the state mandate of 500 feet. 
"There are some challenges to state regulations," Speece said, adding that there would be legal conversations between the municipality and the state over this topic. 
Another proposal included mapping all gas flowlines, something that has been a hot topic since the house explosion in Firestone.
"I"m just concerned with the impact, how severe the impact would be if there was a blowout, if there was a problem," resident Robert Makos said. 
He was one of several people at the meeting that commended Broomfield for being proactive, yet was still concerned.
"I think it's a good thing they're doing it," Broomfield resident Steven Croll added. "I don't know how effective it will be."
Croll questioned whether Broomfield could actually enact and enforce the policies as they were laid out.  
"If it's effective then great. If it's not effective then it's kind of a waste of time I suppose," he said. 
The proposal will still have to be discussed at public meetings to come and voted on by the city council before it is officially adopted. The existing proposal could be changed in a variety of ways during that process.
The full draft proposal can be accessed here.